Scott Johnson reflects on the Ospreys Heineken Cup win over Viadana at the Liberty Stadium.
Speaking to the press after Saturday’s 45-19 win, Director of Coaching Johnson said that the performance had dropped below the high standards expected of the region. He explained:
“The verdict has to be 10 points from the two games so it's points well done, if not job well done. We were disappointing today. Last week we were really, really happy with a lot of the aspects of our game, not so happy today. It’s pretty good to feel that way to be honest as it keeps us focused.
“I think it was the longest 80 minutes of rugby I’ve ever been involved in, it must have been about 120 minutes with the amount of stoppages in the game! We’re a team that likes the ball in play, but it was a stop-start affair and I’ve gone grey in the time it took to finish the game. We’ve got the five points but we are disappointed with our performance.
“We did some good things out there, it’s important not to be too harsh on ourselves. The beauty of it is we’ve got what we wanted out of the game and we’ve still got things to work on, it puts us in a good place as a team. We weren’t as good as a team today, we weren’t as sharp. We weren’t allowed to be in fairness to Viadana, they wanted to stop us playing our game as we knew they would, nobody has a divine right to the ball, to expect to be allowed to play it all their way. There are two teams in a game, it wouldn’t be a match if there wasn’t!
“We’ve got to be honest about where we are, and our honest opinion is that we weren’t where we want to be this afternoon. We’re setting ourselves high standards and today we slipped a little bit.
“ It’s a tough old group. As well as the Italian side, who have pushed us all the way over the last two weeks, we’ve got two teams to come next month who have genuine ambitions of winning this thing outright so it doesn’t get any easier. There’s a lot of hard work to be done between now and then though, on the training pitch and in the Magners League, so we will make sure that the guys remain grounded and aware of what is expected off them in the coming weeks. It’s a tough old gig, but I’d rather be involved in that battle than be out of it.
“We’ve had a tough few months with the amount of people we’ve had out, so we’re pleased to welcome a few guys back into the fold, who are quality players. It’s good news for us, and for Welsh rugby to see them back in action.”